Yael T. Abouhalkah

KU’s Bill Self avoids taxes, with Gov. Sam Brownback’s help

Kansas Jayhawks head basketball coach Bill Self doesn’t have to pay taxes on a lot of his income. And it’s all legal.
Kansas Jayhawks head basketball coach Bill Self doesn’t have to pay taxes on a lot of his income. And it’s all legal. deulitt@kcstar.com

University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self just emerged as the new face of the unfairness of Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2012 income tax cuts.

A KCUR news story (written by Dan Margolies and Sam Zeff) carries this ouch-moment headline: “Thanks To Tax Cuts, Bill Self, Highest Paid State Employee, Owes Little In Kansas Income Taxes.”

The story documents how Self and many more Kansans are legally paying no income taxes if they form LLCs that — under the law passed by the Legislature and eagerly signed by Brownback — let them get away with that.

To be clear, this basic fact has angered more than a few Kansans the past few years. Stories have laid out how regular Kansans who make far less than the leading sports coaches and top business leaders in Kansas continue to pay millions of dollars in taxes.

Self was, fairly, singled out in the KCUR report because of his status as the highest paid employee in the state.

It truly is interesting — and irritating — that Self legally does not pay taxes on a large portion of his income, taxes that could go into the general fund to pay for better schools and social services.

Plus, Self doesn’t have to use an LLC to collect his income, though he reportedly had his long before the Kansas tax reductions took place.

 

The Legislature recently decided not to try to repeal a part of the 2012 income tax cuts — the one that likely would have applied to Self’s LLC and many others. That’s partly for fear that Brownback would have vetoed such an effort.

Overall, the income tax cuts have cost the state about $600 million a year, while the budget has gone up in smoke.

Worse news: Brownback this week is expected to announce even more budget reductions.

The income tax cuts were supposed to lead to a surge in jobs and even revenues, according to Brownback in 2012.

That hasn’t happened, as I have documented over the last year, quoting reports put out by state and federal officials.

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